Shortcuts disappear and symbolic link cannot be opened in Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

Gjelder: Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1Windows Server 2008 R2 DatacenterWindows Server 2008 R2 Standard


When you have a computer that is running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, you may encounter one of the following issues.

Issue 1

Assume that you have a Group Policy Object (GPO) that copies .lnk shortcut files to the following location:
C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\
In this situation, the explorer.exe process does not show the shortcuts in the All Programs list under the Start menu.

Note The issue does not occur immediately when you log on to the computer. It occurs during the regular usage.

Issue 2

Assume that the symbolic link of a file is created by running the mklink command. When you try to double-click the link in Windows Explorer, the link cannot be opened, andyou receive an error message that resembles the following:

The specified path does not exist.

How to obtain the hotfix

To resolve these issues, we have released a hotfix package for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. 

Before you install the hotfix, check the Prerequisites section in this article.

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing the problem described in this article. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, go to the following Microsoft website: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.


To apply this hotfix, you must install Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

Registry information

To apply this hotfix, you do not have to make any changes to the registry.

Restart requirement

You may have to restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.


See the terminology that Microsoft uses to describe software updates.